Ecclesiastical Divorce and the Orthodox


#1

Someone mentioned that they thought the Catholic Church should take a look at “ecclesiastical divorce” as opposed to annulments.

What is ecclesiastical divorce?

How long has the Orthodox been using this type of divorce?

Are there any advantages/disadvantages?

How does this relate to Ekonomia?

Thanks.


#2

I never had one (and do not want one), so it is something I wouldn’t know much about.

I found this nice little snippet from a parish website, perhaps it will help …

**Divorce
**

[LIST]
]“What God has joined, let not man separate.”*
(Mt. 19:6)
[/LIST]
The Orthodox Church firmly believes in the sanctity of the marriage bond. St. Paul refers to marriage as a “great mystery”, likening the relationship of husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church. Our Lord defended the sanctity of marriage, justifying divorce only on the grounds of unchastity. For this reason the Church is deeply concerned about each marriage and seeks to reconcile differences arising between husband and wife in the normal course of life.
The Church also realistically recognizes that some marriages may become completely unworkable, causing more damage than good, and thus does allow for divorce. Whenever serious difficulties arise threatening the dissolution of the marriage, the troubled couple should seek help from the Church first by contacting the priest rather than come to the Church when things are so bad that nothing can be done. Only when the marriage is seen by the Church to be completely unsalvageable is consideration given to divorce.
Although a civil decree of divorce legally dissolves a marriage in the eyes of the civil authorities, it does not dissolve a marriage in the eyes of the Church if the marriage was blessed in the Orthodox Church. The Church is under no obligation to grant a divorce just because a civil court granted a civil divorce.
In accordance with Church Canon Law, an Ecclesiastical Divorce is granted only under certain circumstances In accordance with the 21 November 1973 encyclical of His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, a divorce is given and considered valid, when a marriage is entered into by force, blackmail or false reasons.

[LIST]
*]one or both parties is guilty of adultery.
*]one party is proven to be mad, insane or suffers from a social disease which was not disclosed to the spouse prior to the marriage.
*]one party has conspired against the life of the spouse.
*]one party is imprisoned for more than seven years.
*]one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.
*]one partner should be absent from home without the other’s approval, except in in stances when the latter is assured that such absence is due to psycho-neurotic illness.
*]one partner forces the other to engage in illicit affairs with others.
*]one partner does not fulfill the responsibilities of marriage, or when it is medically proven that one party is physically impotent or as the result of a social venereal disease.
*]one partner is an addict, thereby creating undue economic hardship.
[/LIST]
If such grounds exist, after one year of the issuance of the civil decree of divorce, a petition may be filed with the priest for the ecclesiastical dissolution of the marriage. At that time, the petitioner, who must be current with his/her Stewardship Pledge, must submit all of the following:

[LIST]
*]The Church Marriage Certificate
*]A certified copy of the civil decree of divorce
*]A signed petition to the Ecclesiastical Court stating the grounds of divorce
*]A money order or cashier check in the amount of $150 made out to the “Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco” for the processing of the Ecclesiastical Divorce.
[/LIST]
The four items, along with the priest’s report as to the results of his efforts to reconcile the couple, are then submitted to the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan reviews the file, and if there are grounds for an Ecclesiastical Divorce a date is set for the Ecclesiastical Court to be held. If the Ecclesiastical Court finds sufficient grounds for divorce, the Metropolitan will issue the official decree.

For more information concerning Ecclesiastical Divorce, please contact one of our priests.

It was a pre-schism practice, but I don’t know how far back it goes.

You might realize that the early church originally recognized state marriages. The ecclesiastical divorce may go back as far as when the Roman state allowed the church to perform legal marriages, but I don’t know.

Compared to being married ? :confused:

I suppose one could say it is an example of economy. Dispensations are economy.

It should be remembered that the focus is on forming life-long marriages, and saving them if possible. This is just a recognition that the marriage has failed, and reasons why such a recognition may be given above.

There is no attempt to determine if the marriage never really happened. If the marriage is registered in the church it happened.


#3

I never had one (and do not want one), so it is something I wouldn’t know much about.

I found this nice little snippet from a parish website, perhaps it will help …

**Divorce
**

[LIST]
]“What God has joined, let not man separate.”*
(Mt. 19:6)
[/LIST]
The Orthodox Church firmly believes in the sanctity of the marriage bond. St. Paul refers to marriage as a “great mystery”, likening the relationship of husband and wife to that of Christ and the Church. Our Lord defended the sanctity of marriage, justifying divorce only on the grounds of unchastity. For this reason the Church is deeply concerned about each marriage and seeks to reconcile differences arising between husband and wife in the normal course of life.

The Church also realistically recognizes that some marriages may become completely unworkable, causing more damage than good, and thus does allow for divorce. Whenever serious difficulties arise threatening the dissolution of the marriage, the troubled couple should seek help from the Church first by contacting the priest rather than come to the Church when things are so bad that nothing can be done. Only when the marriage is seen by the Church to be completely unsalvageable is consideration given to divorce.

Although a civil decree of divorce legally dissolves a marriage in the eyes of the civil authorities, it does not dissolve a marriage in the eyes of the Church if the marriage was blessed in the Orthodox Church. The Church is under no obligation to grant a divorce just because a civil court granted a civil divorce.

In accordance with Church Canon Law, an Ecclesiastical Divorce is granted only under certain circumstances In accordance with the 21 November 1973 encyclical of His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos, a divorce is given and considered valid, when a marriage is entered into by force, blackmail or false reasons.

[LIST]
*]one or both parties is guilty of adultery.
*]one party is proven to be mad, insane or suffers from a social disease which was not disclosed to the spouse prior to the marriage.
*]one party has conspired against the life of the spouse.
*]one party is imprisoned for more than seven years.
*]one party abandons the other for more than three years without approval.
*]one partner should be absent from home without the other’s approval, except in in stances when the latter is assured that such absence is due to psycho-neurotic illness.
*]one partner forces the other to engage in illicit affairs with others.
*]one partner does not fulfill the responsibilities of marriage, or when it is medically proven that one party is physically impotent or as the result of a social venereal disease.
*]one partner is an addict, thereby creating undue economic hardship.
[/LIST]
If such grounds exist, after one year of the issuance of the civil decree of divorce, a petition may be filed with the priest for the ecclesiastical dissolution of the marriage. At that time, the petitioner, who must be current with his/her Stewardship Pledge, must submit all of the following:

[LIST]
*]The Church Marriage Certificate
*]A certified copy of the civil decree of divorce
*]A signed petition to the Ecclesiastical Court stating the grounds of divorce
*]A money order or cashier check in the amount of $150 made out to the “Greek Orthodox Diocese of San Francisco” for the processing of the Ecclesiastical Divorce.
[/LIST]
The four items, along with the priest’s report as to the results of his efforts to reconcile the couple, are then submitted to the Metropolitan. The Metropolitan reviews the file, and if there are grounds for an Ecclesiastical Divorce a date is set for the Ecclesiastical Court to be held. If the Ecclesiastical Court finds sufficient grounds for divorce, the Metropolitan will issue the official decree.

For more information concerning Ecclesiastical Divorce, please contact one of our priests.

It was a pre-schism practice, but I don’t know how far back it goes.

You might realize that the early church did not perform marriages recognized by the state. That couldn’t happen at least until the Edict of Milan and probably later. This might mean early marriages were made before a judge and blessed by a priest later. The ecclesiastical divorce may go back as far as when the Roman imperial state allowed Christian priests to perform legal marriages, but I don’t know.

Compared to being married ? :confused:

I suppose one could say it is an example of economy. Dispensations are economy.

It should be remembered that the focus is on forming life-long marriages, and saving them if possible. This is just a recognition that the marriage has failed, and reasons for such a recognition may be given above.

There is no attempt to determine if the marriage never really happened. If the marriage is registered in the church it happened.


#4

Thanks Hesychios. The reasons mentioned above are pretty reasonable. I never understood why adultery is not a cause for divorce when Jesus himself mentions it in Matthew 5:32.

But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery.

It just is very hard for me to see people say, “Apply for an annulment” almost as if it is a given that one will get one – That one will find a loophole. I don’t mean to be offensive or insensitive, but it looks to me like annulments are the Catholic version of divorces.


#5

Is it true that if one divorces and remarries, a second marriage has less value than a first? How does that work?


#6

[quote="TrueLight, post:1, topic:290818"]
Someone mentioned that they thought the Catholic Church should take a look at "ecclesiastical divorce" as opposed to annulments.

What is ecclesiastical divorce?

[/quote]

A divorce granted by the Church. I read once that a married priest may get an ecclesiastical divorce to become a bishop. The condition being that the man and wife both agree to this and that both become monastics afterwards (so no remarriage). I think in this sense it is a great act, it is a foretaste of heaven. If for example our kids are grown up and then I become a bishop and my wife becomes a nun and we no longer are married as angels in heaven are not married. And we live the rest of our lives in service to God, which of course would continue into the resurrection.

Or course this can also be done for the laity and there is remarriage. But it's not cut and dry like the civil divorces. For one think, one has dissolved the undisolvable. One of the commandments of Christ was not to break what God has put together. It is a sin. But it happens. God said we should not murder, and yet people kill other people. It is important in this event that those who divorce do penance for it, regardless of remarriage or not.

[quote="TrueLight, post:1, topic:290818"]

How long has the Orthodox been using this type of divorce?

[/quote]

Good question. I will ask my Father.

[quote="TrueLight, post:1, topic:290818"]

Are there any advantages/disadvantages?

[/quote]

Is there any advantage to sinning? As I mentioned above, divorce is a sin. It can be forgiven like all other sins, but why commit it in the first place?

[quote="TrueLight, post:1, topic:290818"]

How does this relate to Ekonomia?

Thanks.

[/quote]

I think one possible scenario is the priest may allow for it and let you divorce if you are the victim of an abusive marriage. He may not have you do penance as that with someone who initiated the divorce.


#7

It’s more penitential in nature. The first marriage is celebratory. For one thing, Psalm 50 is recited during the wedding, which is the usual Psalm for Lent. Also I’ve read, although I do not know if it is done in practice, but the clergy CANNOT attend your wedding party/banquet on your second marriage.


#8

Very interesting. Is there a stigma so to speak associated with the second marriage?

It is important in this event that those who divorce do penance for it, regardless of remarriage or not.

Is this formal, assigned, penance or is it left up to the individual?


#9

That I do not know. I am only learning the theology of the Orthodox, I do not participate in their life. Although it is telling if indeed the clergy cannot even attend your wedding banquet.

I believe it is the priest that assigns it. And knowing the Orthodox, I can expect it to be lots of prayers and lots of fasting. But then again, it is up to the priest. I can’t romanticize it enough and say it is always this great penance when one fasts and prays for 40 days. It’s highly possible that many get away with a slap on the wrist.


#10

Thanks for keeping it real.

By the way, I don’t know what I meant by the question below. :shrug::slight_smile:

Are there any advantages/disadvantages?


#11

Maybe you were trying to compare it with annulments in the Catholic Church? For me the “advantage” in the Orthodox practice is that it is still viewed as a sin. Because in the Catholic Church it is an annulment, meaning you found evidence to prove that there was no marriage in the first place, then it is seen not as a sin but an honest mistake. No penance, no confession, no nothing. I mean, it is okay if it was really a marriage that was null and void from the beginning, but for those who like me know people who got an annulment despite a long marriage that never had any questions until those last months or years that led to the divorce, then we lose the opportunity to make people realize how serious divorce is.


#12

Yeah. Right. That’s where I was going with this because I started this thread after reading the thread that had comments on annulments.


#13

[quote="TrueLight, post:4, topic:290818"]

It just is very hard for me to see people say, "Apply for an annulment" almost as if it is a given that one will get one -- That one will find a loophole. I don't mean to be offensive or insensitive, but it looks to me like annulments are the Catholic version of divorces.

[/quote]

This is a sad part of the reality of Catholic annulments today. There are canon lawyers who work on this. They act the same as civil lawyers. They know the law (in this case, canon law) in and out and will maneuver for you to "win" the case.


#14

I absolutely love this article by Pope Benedict XVI while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, and I think the Church should seriously consider the ideas he formulated in this article. He very clearly draws on the Eastern church for his conclusions; I think it wonderfully synthesizes the Catholic teaching that marriage is indissoluble with the practical necessities involving the civilly divorced and remarried. Here’s the document, and I suggest reading it all, it is a superb scholarly work His wording is incredibly precise. I love our Holy Father:

pathsoflove.com/texts/ratzinger-indissolubility-marriage/

His conclusions:

"The Church is the Church of the New Covenant, but it lives in a world in which the “hardness of heart” (Mat 19:8) of the Old Covenant remains unchanged. It cannot stop preaching the faith of the New Covenant, but it must often enough begin its concrete life a bit below the threshold of the scriptural word. Thus it can in clear emergency situations allow limited exceptions in order to avoid worse things. [This is a clear reference to the Orthodox concept of economia]Criteria of such action must be: an act “against what is written,” is limited in that it may not call into question the fundamental form, the form from which the Church lives. It is therefore bound to the character of exemption and of help in urgent need - as the transitional missionary situation was, but also the real emergency situation of the Church union. [Notice how extraordinarily careful and precise his wording is]

"Thereby arises, however, the practical question, whether we can name such an emergency situation in the present-day church and describe an exception that satisfies these criteria…[Pay attention to how specific and carefully worded his ideas of possible exceptions are]Where a first marriage broke up a long time ago and in a mutually irreparable way, and where, conversely, a marriage consequently entered into has proven itself over a longer period as a moral reality and has been filled with the spirit of the faith, especially in the education of the children (so that the destruction of this second marriage would destroy a moral greatness and cause moral harm), the possibility should be granted, in a non-judicial way, based on the testimony of the pastor and church members, for the admission to Communion of those in live in such a second marriage. Such an arrangement seems to me to be for two reasons in accord with the tradition[Notice that he makes sure his idea is in accordance with tradition]:

[What follows is a long paragraph where he basically states that while annulments are appropriate in certain situations they’re really not a get out of jail free card or practical in every circumstance]

"b) The requirement that a second marriage have proven itself over a long time as a moral greatness and have been lived in the spirit of faith in fact corresponds to that type of forbearance that is palpable in Basil [An Eastern Father!], where after a long penance Communion is granted to the “Digamus” (= the one living in a second marriage) without terminating the second marriage: in trust in in the mercy of God, who does not leave the penance unanswered.If in the second marriage moral obligations to the children, to the family, and so also to the woman have arisen, and no similar commitments from the first marriage exist, and if thus for moral reasons the abandonment of the second marriage is inadmissible, and on the other hand practically speaking abstinence presents no real possibility (magnorum est, says Gregory II), the opening up of community in Communion after a period of probation appears to be no less than just and to be fully in line with the Church’s tradition: The granting of communio cannot here depend on an act that is either immoral or practically speaking impossible.

The distinction attempted with the mutual relatedness of thesis 1 and 2 seems to be in accordance with the caution of Trent [He does not forget what the church has declared in previous Councils[/COLOR], although as a practical rule it goes beyond it: the anathema against a teaching that wants to make the Church’s fundamental form an error or at least a custom that should be overcome, remains in full vigor. **Marriage is a sacramentum, it stands in the irrevocable fundamental form of the decisive decision. ** [So in the technical sense the first sacramental marriage is still indissoluble]But this does not mean that the Communion community of the church does not also encompass those people who accept this teaching and this life principle, but are in a special predicament, in which they especially need the full communion with the Body of Christ.”

So: To summarize Cardinal Ratzinger’s Idea:

. Marriage is indissoluble Sacrament

. Preferably, if a marriage is forced to divorce, they should not remarry

. But unfortunately we live in a sinful world, and the temptation to remain unmarried may be too strong to resist, so a person may remarry civilly.

. Now if the divorced and remarried person regrets having gotten the unfortunate divorce but is now in a marriage where abstinence is impractical and moral obligations exist to staying married then the Church, after deliberation, may allow the divorced and remarried couple to receive communion.

This is my “dumbed down” summary. Read his actual words, they’re far more nuanced, and better yet, read the whole document. I love it, it’s brilliant.

The Latin Church has been embracing Eastern theology more and more lately and I am very happy about that :thumbsup:

EDIT: To clarify, this is not the Church’s official position. However, I love Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict’s idea and I think it should be our official position. BUT-it is not.


#15

The remarriage thing shouldn’t change that the first marriage is indissoluble. But like what you stated, we sin. We shouldn’t kill other people yet we do, yet that is forgiven. Even with sex, we have sex outside of marriage, we sin. We can’t go back to becoming virgins, yet our sin can be forgiven.


#16

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:15, topic:290818"]
The remarriage thing shouldn't change that the first marriage is indissoluble. But like what you stated, we sin. We shouldn't kill other people yet we do, yet that is forgiven. Even with sex, we have sex outside of marriage, we sin. We can't go back to becoming virgins, yet our sin can be forgiven.

[/quote]

Yep :thumbsup:

I believe Papa Ratzinger's idea is that the second marriage isn't a sacramental marriage or even in the technical letter of the law Church sense a "real" marriage, but we do need to realize that it's there and act prudentially.

I love his proposed solution and I really hope, and will start praying, that the Church seriously considers implementing it.

I approve of his referencing St. Basil :thumbsup:


#17

[quote="Marc_Anthony, post:14, topic:290818"]
I absolutely love this article by Pope Benedict XVI while he was still Cardinal Ratzinger, and I think the Church should seriously consider the ideas he formulated in this article. He very clearly draws on the Eastern church for his conclusions; I think it wonderfully synthesizes the Catholic teaching that marriage is indissoluble with the practical necessities involving the civilly divorced and remarried. Here's the document, and I suggest reading it all, it is a superb scholarly work His wording is incredibly precise. I love our Holy Father:

pathsoflove.com/texts/ratzinger-indissolubility-marriage/

His conclusions:

"The Church is the Church of the New Covenant, but it lives in a world in which the “hardness of heart” (Mat 19:8) of the Old Covenant remains unchanged. It cannot stop preaching the faith of the New Covenant, but it must often enough begin its concrete life a bit below the threshold of the scriptural word. Thus it can in clear emergency situations allow limited exceptions in order to avoid worse things. [This is a clear reference to the Orthodox concept of economia]Criteria of such action must be: an act “against what is written,” is limited in that it may not call into question the fundamental form, the form from which the Church lives. It is therefore bound to the character of exemption and of help in urgent need - as the transitional missionary situation was, but also the real emergency situation of the Church union. [Notice how extraordinarily careful and precise his wording is]

"Thereby arises, however, the practical question, whether we can name such an emergency situation in the present-day church and describe an exception that satisfies these criteria...[Pay attention to how specific and carefully worded his ideas of possible exceptions are]Where a first marriage broke up a long time ago and in a mutually irreparable way, and where, conversely, a marriage consequently entered into has proven itself over a longer period as a moral reality and has been filled with the spirit of the faith, especially in the education of the children (so that the destruction of this second marriage would destroy a moral greatness and cause moral harm), the possibility should be granted, in a non-judicial way, based on the testimony of the pastor and church members, for the admission to Communion of those in live in such a second marriage. Such an arrangement seems to me to be for two reasons in accord with the tradition[Notice that he makes sure his idea is in accordance with tradition]:

[What follows is a long paragraph where he basically states that while annulments are appropriate in certain situations they're really not a get out of jail free card or practical in every circumstance]

"b) The requirement that a second marriage have proven itself over a long time as a moral greatness and have been lived in the spirit of faith in fact corresponds to that type of forbearance that is palpable in Basil [An Eastern Father!], where after a long penance Communion is granted to the “Digamus” (= the one living in a second marriage) without terminating the second marriage: in trust in in the mercy of God, who does not leave the penance unanswered.If in the second marriage moral obligations to the children, to the family, and so also to the woman have arisen, and no similar commitments from the first marriage exist, and if thus for moral reasons the abandonment of the second marriage is inadmissible, and on the other hand practically speaking abstinence presents no real possibility (magnorum est, says Gregory II), the opening up of community in Communion after a period of probation appears to be no less than just and to be fully in line with the Church's tradition: The granting of communio cannot here depend on an act that is either immoral or practically speaking impossible.

"The distinction attempted with the mutual relatedness of thesis 1 and 2 seems to be in accordance with the caution of Trent [He does not forget what the church has declared in previous Councils[/COLOR], although as a practical rule it goes beyond it: the anathema against a teaching that wants to make the Church's fundamental form an error or at least a custom that should be overcome, remains in full vigor. *Marriage is a sacramentum, it stands in the irrevocable fundamental form of the decisive decision. * [So in the technical sense the first sacramental marriage is still indissoluble]But this does not mean that the Communion community of the church does not also encompass those people who accept this teaching and this life principle, but are in a special predicament, in which they especially need the full communion with the Body of Christ."

So: To summarize Cardinal Ratzinger's Idea:

. Marriage is indissoluble Sacrament

. Preferably, if a marriage is forced to divorce, they should not remarry

. But unfortunately we live in a sinful world, and the temptation to remain unmarried may be too strong to resist, so a person may remarry civilly.

. Now if the divorced and remarried person regrets having gotten the unfortunate divorce but is now in a marriage where abstinence is impractical and moral obligations exist to staying married then the Church, after deliberation, may allow the divorced and remarried couple to receive communion.

This is my "dumbed down" summary. Read his actual words, they're far more nuanced, and better yet, read the whole document. I love it, it's brilliant.

The Latin Church has been embracing Eastern theology more and more lately and I am very happy about that :thumbsup:

EDIT: To clarify, this is not the Church's official position. However, I love Cardinal Ratzinger/Pope Benedict's idea and I think it should be our official position. BUT-it is not.

Marc Anthony. I first heard the term "Ecclesiastical divorce from you in the other thread, so thanks for contributing to this thread. :thumbsup:

Is what Pope Benedict referring to tied to the annulment process? The "hardness of heart" referred to in Matthew refers to actual divorce.

Also, how does one admit divorced people into communion without it being scandalous or the importance of marriage being trivialized?

I understand why people may need to get divorced in certain situations and I understand in certain situations it is impractical to tell someone to live like brother and sister or to tell them to break up the second marriage especially where there are children involved.

The Latin Church has been embracing Eastern theology more and more lately and I am very happy about that :thumbsup:

St Basil is referenced in the current catechism in regards to divorce.

2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery:

** If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery, and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself.178 **

Citation 178 comes from St. Basil, Moralia 73,1:PG 31,849-852.

I have a basic question to everyone. Are not the Eastern Fathers also considered Church Fathers? Is it considered a big deal to quote St Basil?

[/quote]


#18

I think that quotation must be from his epistle 188, chapter 9. Look at the bolded sentence (the translation is different, of course):The sentence of the Lord that it is unlawful to withdraw from wedlock, save on account of fornication, Matthew 5:32 applies, according to the argument, to men and women alike. Custom, however, does not so obtain. Yet, in relation with women, very strict expressions are to be found; as, for instance, the words of the apostle “He which is joined to a harlot is one body” 1 Corinthians 6:16 and of Jeremiah, If a wife “become another man’s shall he return unto her again? Shall not that land be greatly polluted?” Jeremiah 3:1 And again, “He that has an adulteress is a fool and impious.” Yet custom ordains that men who commit adultery and are in fornication be retained by their wives. Consequently I do not know if the woman who lives with the man who has been dismissed can properly be called an adulteress; the charge in this case attaches to the woman who has put away her husband, and depends upon the cause for which she withdrew from wedlock. In the case of her being beaten, and refusing to submit, it would be better for her to endure than to be separated from her husband; in the case of her objecting to pecuniary loss, even here she would not have sufficient ground. If her reason is his living in fornication we do not find this in the custom of the church; but from an unbelieving husband a wife is commanded not to depart, but to remain, on account of the uncertainty of the issue. “For what do you know, O wife, whether you shall save your husband?” 1 Corinthians 7:16 Here then the wife, if she leaves her husband and goes to another, is an adulteress. But the man who has been abandoned is pardonable, and the woman who lives with such a man is not condemned.** But if the man who has deserted his wife goes to another, he is himself an adulterer because he makes her commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has caused another woman’s husband to come over to her.**

newadvent.org/fathers/3202188.htm

I think the catechism took this quotation a little bit out of context, however. This epistle seems to be St. Basil’s response to questions sent to him by his fellow bishop, Amphilochius. The specificity of the response seems to indicate that Amphilochius must have asked Basil about a particular case involving real people within his flock. Basil in his response mentions that the custom allows for the man to withdraw from wedlock and live with another woman in the case of adultery, but it does not make this same allowance for the woman should the man engage in adultery.


#19

I’m no scholar, but doesn’t this issue kick off with the RCC concept that the bride & groom themselves somehow “confer the sacrament upon one another”, and a priest is merely an official witness? If, in essence, the sacrament is really the marriage contract as expressed in the vows, then that opens the door for later nullification. A court (in this case, Rome or her representatives) pass judgment on the validity of the contract as executed. This works in theory because the priest is out of the loop in this system. He gives a blessing, but it’s not part of the valid contract. The contract stands on its own.

Now if the priest were actually the sole person conferring “the sacrament of matrimony”, then it’d be a huge can of worms to justify an annulment…if you could legally “undo” a priest-administered sacrament (in this case, marriage) then the scholastic reasoning would extend to “undoing” just about any conferred sacrament, given a proper petition & adjudicating body. People could petition to undo their baptisms (“it never happened because I wasn’t in the right mindset”), etc.

As an aside, can anyone shed light on when/why this developed, the sacramental marriage being conferred by the couple on each other? Did this parallel the development of the annulment process/tribunals?

Baffling.


#20

Wow. This quote is really biased against women, LOL.


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